Marta Maria Johansdatter Skretting (1789-1843) of Norway, Giertrud Nielsdtr (1737-1774+) of Denmark and Me; So Close Yet So Far Away!

What do Marta Maria Johansdatter Skretting, Giertrud Nielsdtr and I have in common? We are all a”0″ mtDNA match. Giertrud is my earliest proven ancestor in my all female line. Marta’s descendant, who lives in the U.S. like me, and I are exact mtDNA matches. Until the results of the mtDNA test, we had not known each other.

Marta Maria Johansdatter Skretting is her earliest known ancestor in her mtDNA (mother’s mother’s mother, etc.) line.

For my first foray into Norwegian records, I think I’ve done quite well, but Marta Maria is a brick wall that others also seem to have found.

According to her marriage record, Marta Maria Johansdatter Skretting was bornc1787-1789, based on preliminary research.

First entry, top left
National Archives of Norway

She married Jon Svendsen on 22 March 1816 in Haa, Rogaland, Norway, which is about 100 km or 68 miles away.

For future reference, note the tip of Denmark in the bottom right corner and the city of Frederikshavn, which is the area where Giertrud Nielsdtr lived. More on that in a bit.

Browsing the church registers of Norway is much like searching those of Denmark and Sweden, so it didn’t take me long to locate this family.

Jon Svendsen was baptized on 18 April 1790, Haa, Rogaland, Norway and died 10 July 1866, Reiestad, Rogaland, Norway. Marta Maria Johannesdatter Skretting (Skretting is likely a farm.) was baptized 10 October 1788, Eigersund, Rogaland, Norway.

Their daughter Maria, earliest known ancestor of my mtDNA match was baptized on 29 March 1831 in nearby Varhaug, Norway.

My interest is only in the female lines, so I continued the hunt for more about Marta Maria Johannesdatter. Her parents are Johannes Pedersen and Maren Ericsdatter, who married on 9 October 1787 in Haa, Rogaland, Norway. They were the parents of six children that I’ve found so far and Marta Maria is the firstborn in the family.

Johannes Pedersen is noted in the marriage record as being of Gjermestad, not far away, while Maren is from Haa. Unfortunately, their ages aren’t noted.

There is only one Maren Ericsdatter in Rogaland, who appears to be of an age to be Johannes’s wife. It is a small stretch because this Maren was baptized on 1 January 1751 in Finnoy, Rogaland, Norway, once again not far from the other villages in this story. Johannes’ and Maren’s last child was baptized on 17 August 1800, which would put Maren’s age at 49. Not impossible, but not common either.

IF this is the correct Maren, this family line continues for a couple more generations in Finnoy and then the church records end. This Maren apparently married Hermann Jonson Jelsa on 4 July 1779 in Finnoy. They had four children – Anna, Erik, Jacob and Eivin – and then Hermann died in 1785.

There is no conflict with Maren who married Johannes Pedersen because they married on 9 October 1787, which would be a reasonable mourning period.

I’ve looked at some, but not all of the primary records found in the church registers on the National Archives of Norway website; those I’ve read match online tree information on FamilySearch, so I am going to make the tentative assumption that the family groupings are correct.

If so, Maria Jonsdatter (born 1831), who emigrated to the United States, has the following maternal line, which would be an mtDNA match with me:

Maria Jonsdatter, bapt. 29 March 1831, born Varhaug, Norway
Marta Maria Johansdatter, bapt. 10 October 1788, Eigersund, Norway = Jon Svendsen
Maren Ericsdatter, bapt. 1 January 1751, Finnoy, Norway = Johannes Pedersen
Mari Maren Osmundsdatter Kingestad, bapt. 1721, Finnoy, Norway = Eric Jacobsen
Karen Danielsdatter, bapt. 8 May 1681, Finnoy, Norway = Osmund Andersson Kingestad
Maria Jacobsdatter Naerland, born c1648 = Daniel Halvardson Vestbo

The family appears to be squarely situated in Finnoy, Norway for the three earliest generations and my Danish connection, Giertrud Nielsdtr is near Frederikshavn, Denmark.

By boat, these places are not far apart.

Giertrud Nielsdtr was likely born in the 1728-1735 range of years. The problem is that her father, Niels, is called Niels Aastedmand, or “man of Aasted.” Aasted is a parish right next to Flade.

That makes it pretty much impossible to determine who her mother and father were. However, the point is really moot because church registers in that area only go back to the late 1600s. It isn’t likely that I could take Giertrud’s maternal line back more than one generation to her own mother, assuming I could figure out who her parents were.

I’ve read that exact mtDNA matches have about a 50% chance of finding the common ancestor within five generations. In my case, Giertrud Nielsdtr is my 6X great grandmother, who lived eight generations before me and I believe that my match might be in her 20s. Maria Jonsdatter is probably her 3X great grandmother, making Maria Jacobsdatter Naerland her 8X great grandmother. She and I unfortunately are part of that other 50%.

Marta Maria Johansdatter Skretting, Giertrud Nielsdtr and I are so close, yet so very far away and I don’t see any solution forthcoming as to that one elusive female ancestor who links the three of us together with her mtDNA.





One thought on “Marta Maria Johansdatter Skretting (1789-1843) of Norway, Giertrud Nielsdtr (1737-1774+) of Denmark and Me; So Close Yet So Far Away!”

  1. RootsTech 2019 Contest Entry

    This is so great. I have recently done my DNA testing and hope to find links like you have.

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